The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) chaired a consultative retailer and supplier workshop on knife retailing last Wednesday (May 15), attended by big name retail and supplier brands.
The workshop was BHETA’s opening move in its responsible knife retailing campaign: an initiative agreed with members following an initial consultation on March 25.
Attendees included representatives from independent retailers, department store groups and supermarket chains including John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Dunelm, Steamer Trading, TK Maxx, Elys of Wimbledon and Harts of Stur. They joined representatives from knife suppliers Taylor’s Eye Witness, Amefa, Fiskars, Meyer, Haus, Burton McCall, Kuhn Rikon and Robert Welch Designs.
BHETA chief executive Andrew Weiss opened the meeting, which was chaired by BHETA chief operating officer Will Jones. The agenda covered product design, packaging and merchandising, point of sale and checkout procedure, consumer education and political lobbying.
Commenting on the event, Will said: “BHETA’s initial action after our March 25 supplier meeting was to write to all major retailers to ask for their input and engagement in support of best practice on this serious and complex issue. It’s excellent that we received such commitment from so many leading retailers.
“The level of debate, positive feedback and consensus on collaborative supplier/retailer action was heartening and exciting. As a result, we will be able to announce the first actions in the responsible retailing campaign within weeks.”
Andrew added: “Supplier and retailer collaboration – ensuring not only proactive but consistent, level playing field action on the important and complicated issue of knife crime – is crucial. Individual supplier or retailer action in isolation will not be effective – but we believe we now have the principles agreed to make an industry-wide difference.”